A huge number of youths drawn from Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Thursday staged a peaceful demonstration at the entrance of the State Government House, over the death of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Ernest Odu.
The protesters, who thronged the Government House at about 11 A.M, barricaded the entrance gate in their numbers, wearing mournful faces and chanting songs.
It was gathered that the late Ernest Odu, a barrister at law who hailed from Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, suddenly slumped and died last Saturday while attending a political meeting in Enugu.
A spokesperson of the protesters, Mr. Leonard Alegu, said that the late Odu travelled to Enugu in company with other party chieftains for a meeting.
He said, “It was sad that the late Odu slumped and died during the meeting. He was hale and hearty before he travelled for the said meeting. His sudden death was a shock to us.”
Alegu alleged that the Enugu State Police Command had refused to investigate the sudden death of the late Odu, noting that the matter occurred in their domain.
“We the members of the Ezza Ezekuna Youth Association are here to cry for justice, that justice should be done. We are sad. We want the state government to intervene,” he said.
Alegu appealed to the state government to liaise with the Enugu State Government in order to unravel the cause of Odu’s death.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as ” Enough is Enough, Where is Ernest Odu?” “Ezza youths mourn Late Ernest Odu, IGP investigate the hands behind murder of Barrister Odu,” among others.
Addressing the protesters, the Chief of Staff at Government House, Abakaliki, Ofor Okorie, said that the State Government had noted the complaints of the protesters and would do everything to assist the security agencies in unraveling the circumstances that led to Odu’s death.
Okorie expressed sadness over the development, assuring that security agencies would carry out thorough investigation into the matter.
“I have heard you. You are protesting the death of your brother. I want to assure you that you have come to the right place. Your cry has been heard. Your governor is a caring governor. He sent me to come and receive you.”
Reacting to the development, the deputy Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Tony Olofu, assured the protesters that the Command would liaise with their counterparts in Enugu State to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Late Barrister Ernest Odu.
He commended the protesters for the peaceful protest, warning that the Command would not condone any act that would lead to lawlessness.